I presented my synopsis of Never Eat Alone (And Other Secrets to Success One Relationship at a Time) by Keith Ferrazzi this morning at the Farmers Branch Chamber of Commerce. (Good group!). They were “re-starting” for the fall, and the reminders of this book on how to become a much better networking professional seemed to fit the need…
So, let’s revisit this terrific book. For this presentation, I added “my takeaways.” (I first presented this book back in May, 2006. “My takeaways” are a relatively recent addition to my presentations).
Why is this book worth your time?
First, no matter what your job is (or your next job, or your next), interacting with people effectively will help, and not interacting with people will hurt.
And, since relationships are crucial for any and every endeavor, this book will help you think about how to do a better job at building professional relationships (and, really, all relationships).
In my handout, I wrote:
There are a few “subjects” in which there really is “the book” to read. This is “the book to read” for networking…
(I mentioned a couple of other “this is the book to read” suggestions. For effective teams, “the book” is Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. And, for getting your tasks done, “the book” is Getting Things Done by David Allen).
Here are a few key excerpts from Never Eat Alone (there are many!)
I learned that real networking was about finding ways to make other people more successful.
Set a goal for yourself of initiating a meeting with one new person a week. It doesn’t matter where or with whom.
The fact is that small talk – the kind that happens between two people who don’t know each other – is the most important talk we do… The one trait that was common among the class’s most accomplished graduates was “verbal fluency” (from a study of successful Stanford MBA graduates). In front of an audience, at a dinner, or in a cab, these people know how to talk. The more successfully you use language, the faster you can get ahead in life. So what should your objective be in making small talk? Good question. The goal is simple: Start a conversation, keep it going, create a bond, and leave with the other person thinking, “I dig that person,” or whatever other generational variation of that phrase you want to use.
And, here are my lessons and takeaways:
- Get out there and “network.”
- Work on developing your “interaction skills” – listening; conversational skills.
- Become intentional and systematic in “remembering” the people that you meet.
- Follow up, every time you promise to follow up. Not following up is the sure-fire way to waste your opportunities.
- Schedule a networking event regularly (weekly; every week!) – a new one, with new people to meet. The more people you know, the greater your network.
- And, though LinkedIn is great, it is not a substitute for face-to-face interactions. In-person conversations are truly valuable in your pursuit of effectiveness and success.
- Remember the old rule – you always need something to do and someone to know.
- And, when someone offers you their help, you can “disagree,” but treat them and their offer of help respectfully.
You’ve got the fall months ahead of you. Plan your networking activities carefully, and fully. This book is a great way to jumpstart your thinking and your planning.
You can purchase my synopsis of this book, with my handout plus the audio of my presentation, from our companion web site, 15minutebusinessbooks.com.